Vice President Mike Pence visited Mayo Clinic in Rochester to see firsthand how Mayo is providing scientific leadership to aid the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo Clinic president and CEO, guided the vice president on a tour where he was able to talk with Mayo Clinic scientists leading the country's expanded access program for convalescent plasma, which is an experimental treatment for COVID-19 that uses antibodies found in plasma from patients who have recovered from the illness. Accompanying the vice president was Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and. U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn
The tour also included stops in one of Mayo Clinic's virology laboratories where the vice president talked with pathologists who have been working to rapidly expand molecular and antibody testing for COVID-19. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been a leader in developing and deploying COVID-19 testing since the start of the pandemic.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality b-roll and sound bites with Dr. Gianrico Farrugia and Vice President Pence are in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy the b-roll "Mayo Clinic News Network."
"When I hear about the innovation that's been developed here and the opportunity to scale some of the new tests that you've developed here at the Mayo Clinic, I know that we've only just begun to expand new platforms of testing around the country. And it will be owing to the ingenuity, the creativity and the expertise of the extraordinary men and women here at Mayo Clinic," says Vice President Pence.
Following the tour, the group took part in a roundtable discussion with Mayo Clinic leaders and staff who each shared different aspects of the COVID-19 response.
"It's in Mayo's DNA to be able to help patients with complex and serious disease, and COVID-19 is a perfect example," says Dr. Farrugia.
"I will leave here today inspired and encouraged that we're one step closer to reopening our country and healing our land because of the work you're doing here," says Vice President Pence.
The group expressed strong interest in further collaboration on key pandemic issues impacting patients and communities.
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.